TOKYO, Dec 16, 2007 (AFP) – Japanese car giant Toyota Motor Corp. plans to raise its global output to near 10 million units next year, out-distancing its rival General Motors Corp. of the United States, a news report said Sunday. While Toyota is expanding its overseas production facilities, GM has been laying off workers and shuttering factories to try to reverse losses that hit two billion dollars last year.
Toyota now expects its group’s global production to expand to some 9.9 million vehicles in 2008, about 500,000 units more than the projection for the current year, the Nikkei newspaper said.
The expansion is mainly due to expectations of continued robust sales in China, the Middle East and other emerging economies, the business daily said.
Toyota is expected to outdo General Motors in output this year as the carmaker steps up production overseas, and the gap is likely to widen in 2008, it added.
Toyota projects its global output for this year will climb by four percent year on year to 9.42 million cars, while General Motors earlier this month announced a production forecast of a one percent gain to 9.26 million units.
As the result, the Japanese company is likely to become the world’s number one carma